Lock resources to prevent unexpected changes

As an administrator, you may need to lock a subscription, resource group, or resource to prevent other users in your organization from accidentally deleting or modifying critical resources. You can set the lock level to CanNotDelete or ReadOnly.

  • CanNotDelete means authorized users can still read and modify a resource, but they can't delete the resource.
  • ReadOnly means authorized users can read a resource, but they can't delete or update the resource. Applying this lock is similar to restricting all authorized users to the permissions granted by the Reader role.

Resource Manager locks apply only to operations that happen in the management plane, which consists of operations sent to https://management.azure.com. The locks do not restrict how resources perform their own functions. Resource changes are restricted, but resource operations are not restricted. For example, a ReadOnly lock on a SQL Database prevents you from deleting or modifying the database, but it does not prevent you from creating, updating, or deleting data in the database. Data transactions are permitted because those operations are not sent to https://management.azure.com.

Applying ReadOnly can lead to unexpected results because some operations that seem like read operations actually require additional actions. For example, placing a ReadOnly lock on a storage account prevents all users from listing the keys. The list keys operation is handled through a POST request because the returned keys are available for write operations. For another example, placing a ReadOnly lock on an App Service resource prevents Visual Studio Server Explorer from displaying files for the resource because that interaction requires write access.

Unlike role-based access control, you use management locks to apply a restriction across all users and roles. To learn about setting permissions for users and roles, see Azure Role-based Access Control.

When you apply a lock at a parent scope, all resources within that scope inherit the same lock. Even resources you add later inherit the lock from the parent. The most restrictive lock in the inheritance takes precedence.

Who can create or delete locks in your organization

To create or delete management locks, you must have access to Microsoft.Authorization/* or Microsoft.Authorization/locks/* actions. Of the built-in roles, only Owner and User Access Administrator are granted those actions.

Creating a lock through the portal

  1. In the Settings blade for the resource, resource group, or subscription that you wish to lock, select Locks.

    select lock

  2. To add a lock, select Add. If you want to create a lock at a parent level, select the parent. The currently selected resource inherits the lock from the parent. For example, you could lock the resource group to apply a lock to all its resources.

    add lock

  3. Give the lock a name and lock level. Optionally, you can add notes that describe the lock.

    set lock

  4. To delete the lock, select the ellipsis and Delete from the available options.

    delete lock

Creating a lock in a template

The following example shows a template that creates a lock on a storage account. The storage account on which to apply the lock is provided as a parameter. The name of the lock is created by concatenating the resource name with /Microsoft.Authorization/ and the name of the lock, in this case myLock.

The type provided is specific to the resource type. For storage, set the type to "Microsoft.Storage/storageaccounts/providers/locks".

  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
  "contentVersion": "",
  "parameters": {
    "lockedResource": {
      "type": "string"
  "resources": [
      "name": "[concat(parameters('lockedResource'), '/Microsoft.Authorization/myLock')]",
      "type": "Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts/providers/locks",
      "apiVersion": "2015-01-01",
      "properties": {
        "level": "CannotDelete"

Creating a lock with REST API

You can lock deployed resources with the REST API for management locks. The REST API enables you to create and delete locks, and retrieve information about existing locks.

To create a lock, run:

PUT https://management.azure.com/{scope}/providers/Microsoft.Authorization/locks/{lock-name}?api-version={api-version}

The scope could be a subscription, resource group, or resource. The lock-name is whatever you want to call the lock. For api-version, use 2015-01-01.

In the request, include a JSON object that specifies the properties for the lock.

  "properties": {
    "level": "CanNotDelete",
    "notes": "Optional text notes."

Creating a lock with Azure PowerShell

You can lock deployed resources with Azure PowerShell by using the New-AzureRmResourceLock as shown in the following example.

New-AzureRmResourceLock -LockLevel CanNotDelete -LockName LockSite -ResourceName examplesite -ResourceType Microsoft.Web/sites -ResourceGroupName exampleresourcegroup

Azure PowerShell provides other commands for working locks, such as Set-AzureRmResourceLock to update a lock and Remove-AzureRmResourceLock to delete a lock.

Next steps